Page last updated at 09:01 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Downturn forces airline to quit

Flyglobespan aircraft
Flyglobespan had been flying from Durham Tees Valley for two years

An airline has pulled out of Durham Tees Valley Airport because of the worsening economic downturn.

Budget airline Flyglobespan said the decision had been taken reluctantly, but was necessary to make better use of its assets.

Flyglobespan customers accounted for about 100,000 of the airport's almost 700,000 annual passenger numbers.

The airport, near Darlington, said it was confident another carrier would be found to replace vacant slots.

The Edinburgh-based airline, which flew to European destinations from Durham Tees valley, said it was hopeful it could return to the airport in the future.

'Positive relationship'

A company spokesman said: "We have been looking at different ways of deploying our aircraft to maximise our products in these challenging economic conditions.

"Unfortunately that means we will not be flying from Durham Tees Valley in 2009.

"We make this decision with great sadness as we have spent two years building up a customer base at Durham Tees Valley.

"However, in today's economic climate, we have to ensure our assets are deployed in the most viable manner.

"We retain a positive relationship with the airport authorities and will keep a dialogue going with them."

The airline mainly flies from Scotland - from Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh airports.

An airport spokesman said: "Despite this disappointing news and the wider economic challenges facing the industry, we remain confident that, with a catchment area of 2.7m people within an hour's drive from the airport, Durham Tees Valley's long-term development prospects remain bright.

"There there are real opportunities for operators to respond to the clearly-demonstrated demand from the public for services from their local airport."



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